Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Hannah Nicklin)

This is the third of 6 talks I m doing for Videobrains walking with game designers and thinking about how the landscape of their lives affects their game design. If you enjoy this series, please back me at patreon.com/hannahnicklin. This week, developer Kerry Turner, creator of indie gem Heartwood.

We re going to Brighton, the long way round.

Around 12,000 years ago the ice left Yorkshire. As the glaciers passed by they scraped away earth and vegetation to reveal the limestone below, a flat bare surface. Limestone is slightly soluble and as rain hit it over and over and over joints and cracks in the limestone wore away into tiny streams, drainage to the earth below. The dialect word for those fissures is grykes , the paving-slab like regular stone they divide: clints . In modern terms it s a limestone pavement. Malham Cove is one of these rare formations, not far from a ravine called Gordale Scar, a few miles or so out of Malham, North Yorkshire.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

A new phenomenon of modern games criticism is playing a game for a bit, then stopping to double-check if you missed its being in early access. That’s certainly something I did when playing Corpse Of Discovery [official site]. (The punning title rendered even more clumsy when a character pronounces its near-homograph with a hard ‘ps’.) But no, despite a growing certainty as I started playing, this is entirely released. That might not be for the best.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Alec took the news badly

A message, beamed into the RPS mobile base from an unknown source:

“Hello, Commander. In light of our desire to ensure that the upcoming extraterrestrial reign of terror is a significant improvement on the gloriously successful incursions of 2012, this council of developers has convened to approve the activation of the XCOM 2 Delay Project. You have been chosen to spread word of this initiative. To oversee our first… and last* change to the release date. You may believe that releasing this year would have made all of your planet’s dreams come true but we are looking to the future. We urge you to keep that in mind as you proceed.”

Actually, I spotted the news on Twitter. XCOM 2 [official site] won’t be with us until February 5, 2016.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

At Gamescom 2015, I had the opportunity to talk to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay director Patrick Fortier. We talked about feeling a sense of ownership over Deus Ex at last, expanding the language of its level design beyond vents, and the politics of a “mechanical apartheid.” Before I asked him about the game’s ceilings.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Emily Gera)

For the rest of this weekend Mount & Blade: Warband [official site] is free on Steam, finally bringing an answer to the question on everyone’s lips: “What is free this weekend is it Mount & Blade?>” It is! Along with all its expansions – Mount & Blade: Napoleonic Wars and Viking Conquest Reforged Edition are also both free. Imagine me bellowing this information to you like a television mattress salesmen.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Train Valley [official site] is an exceedingly pleasant game. There are similarities to the minimalist joys of Mini Metro but where that game’s visual design is reminiscent of the Tube map, Train Valley contains beautiful microcosms of different periods and places. I’ve been playing on and off since it launched as an Early Access title and find the combination of puzzling and light management both endearing and panic-inducing. Developers Flazm send word that they’ll shunt the game out of Early Access on September 16th.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Fantasy General [link to GOG page] is a 1996 game best described as Panzer General with Dragonknights and centaurs. Hexes, turn-based warfare and an enormous variety of weird and wonderful units.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

When I consider Satellite Reign [official site] as a whole, a grand canvas spattered with raindrops, neon and bulletholes, I’m in love with it. Yes, it looks and feels a little like Syndicate, but 5 Lives’ Kickstarted RTS-RPG does not slavishly follow a model from the past. Its city is open, a series of district-hubs with opportunities and mission locations scattered across them, and there are many possible routes to victory.

Satellite Reign is, from the wide-scan satellite’s view, a thing of beauty and promise. But I’ve been down in the streets for the last few days to take a closer look at the city. Here’s wot I think.>

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Tim Stone)

With Fidget, our Ferret scout car, on loan to the Peshmerga, and Pam, our photo-reconnaissance de Havilland Mosquito, grounded with dry rot, Flare Path is totally reliant on the recon-gathering equipment of cyber comrades at the moment. Today’s stories came via Subsim.com’s cod-kissed sonobuoys, Tactical Wargames’ perpetually circling Auster AOP, Real and Simulated Wars’ energetic-Dutch-schoolboy-on-a-bicycle, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s own infinite Tu-95.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] has only been in Steam Early Access since June, but has already announced its intended release date of June 2016. I spoke to co-creative director Jesse Rapczak at Gamescom 2015 about the merits of early access development, and he mentioned that they may use a similar process for post-release DLC – and that they hope the first expansion will arrive just a few months after the release of v1.0.

… [visit site to read more]

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